Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, Aug. 13

2010 Operation Snowfall update
EOC encourages preparedness for weather-related challenges

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The Emergency Operation Center (EOC) continues to support emergency relief efforts based on emergency declarations from the Hopi and Navajo Tribes; the counties of Apache, Navajo and Coconino; the State of Arizona; and the United States. Ground and air support is enhanced with support from Arizona State Incident Management Team.

Wednesday night's storm left about 3 inches of new snow. The Navajo Nation Government employees and schools in the area were on a two-hour delay.

The EOC Incident Command advises that chapters and families in weather impacted areas begin planning and thinking about temporary shelters for those who live in remote areas where roads are quickly becoming impassable.

"The safety of emergency personnel and the residents is of great concern, especially when people who are rescued continue to return to their homes following a rescue operation", said Deputy Incident Commander David Nez. People with livestock need to make appropriate arrangements due to extreme mud conditions and flooding from snow melt according to Nez.

Chapters in low lying areas are advised to begin preparing for extreme mud conditions and flooding. Communities along the Rio Puerco and Little Colorado River, including Pinon, Leupp, Birdsprings, Whippoorwill and Low Mountain are all at risk for potential flooding.

People impacted by the weather continue to be reminded to work with their local chapter. Fees and restrictions imposed by Chapters when providing assistance with wood, food, or hay is strongly discouraged by tribal officials. Donations are not to be sold to the public. Resources provided to chapters through donations are primarily for people heavily impacted by the weather conditions and living in remote areas. These people often are the medically challenged, those who are on dialysis and depend on frequent health care, including the elderly and ranchers.

The EOC has focused on the Kinliichii and Klagetoh area for a thorough search and rescue mission on Friday.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Forest Management and the Arizona State Incident Management Division 4 team will be covering the area to locate people who have not yet been contacted and are in need of basic supplies. People are using a red cloth to indicate a health need.

EOC and emergency response volunteers, workers, and people living in weather impacted areas and the general public are advised to dress in layers when in the outdoors for any length of time and to wear waterproof boots and carry a working cell phone or a form of dependable communication.

When leaving the workplace or home, notify relatives and work stations as to destination and expected return. People in the field must travel in pairs.

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